West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider exempting ‘Gobindobhog‘ rice from the 20 per cent customs duty imposed in September this year. In a letter written to PM Modi on Wednesday, Mamata said that the rice variety was popular, particularly “for offerings to the almighty throughout the country and abroad, especially in Europe and the Gulf countries, and enjoys good demand”.
“Govind Borg” has been given a geographic designation and is grown in several counties in the state, Mamata said, priced higher than common MSP rice. “Since 2011, we have been promoting the production of this premium variety ‘Gobindobhog’ in suitable areas to replace coarse rice in an effort to improve the income of farmers. ing. The breed is in demand in Western Asian countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.
The chief minister said that the Centre, through a notification dated September 8, had imposed a 20 per cent customs duty on rice. She wrote, “As a result of which the export business of the premium ‘Gobindobhog’ variety, developed through years of efforts, has been badly affected with a negative impact on the demand and domestic price of the paddy, and hence, on the income of farmers.”Mamata said that since the Basmati variety of rice had been exempted from the 20 per cent duty, the ‘Gobindobhog’ variety should similarly be exempted from duty on export to prevent loss of business and allow farmers to avail the benefits.